No. 8 Duke locks down late, holds off Xavier 71-64
Fri, Nov 25, 2022
NCAAB News (AP)
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Jeremy Roach scored a season-high 21 points, Mark Mitchell added 16 and No. 8 Duke withstood Xavier's second-half comeback for a 71-64 win in the semifinals of the Phil Knight Legacy tournament on Friday.
The Blue Devils (6-1) advanced to the championship game thanks to the play of their standout guard and another strong defensive effort. Roach came one point shy of matching his career high, and the Blue Devils rebounded after an unexpectedly tight victory over Oregon State in the opening round of the event.
The Musketeers (4-2) were held to two points over the final five minutes and missed their final four shot attempts. Souley Boum scored 23 points and Adam Kunkel had 13.
Mitchell scored seven points in the opening minutes of the second half, including a pair of layups, and he hit a 3-pointer from the wing that gave Duke a 49-36 lead, its largest of the game.
That's when Xavier's comeback started. The Musketeers pulled within three points on several occasions, but Duke answered each time. Desmond Claude's driving layup pulled Xavier within 63-60 with 5:51 left, but Ryan Young scored for Duke and Xavier didn't make another basket.
Roach's jumper with 2:40 left pushed Duke's lead to 69-62.
Kyle Filipowski had 12 points and was not Duke's leading scorer for the first time in five games.
Duke: The Blue Devils' dominance on the backboards finally came to an end. Duke had outrebounded each of its first six opponents by double figures, the longest stretch of rebounding dominance over any six-game stretch in school history. But Xavier's interior size limited Duke to a 33-32 advantage on the glass. The Blue Devils had 12 second-chance points.
Xavier: The Musketeers played an Atlantic Coast Conference team for the first time since beating Virginia Tech in last year's NIT Season Tip-Off. Xavier dropped to 0-2 against ranked opponents this season, having lost to Indiana last week. The Musketeers will play another ranked foe in Sunday's third-place game.
Duke will face the Gonzaga-Purdue winner in the championship game on Sunday, while Xavier will play the loser.
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